Don Myrick (April 6, 1940 – July 30, 1993) was a saxophonist.
He played alto, tenor and soprano sax and was a member of Earth, Wind & Fire's original horn section, The Phenix Horns Esq. from 1975 through 1982. Previously, Myrick had been a member of the musical group The Pharaohs. Myrick is also credited as a founding member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM)
Some of his most famous saxophone solos include Phil Collins' "One More Night", even featuring Myrick performing the sax solo in the official music video, filmed in a London pub. Another was the live recording of "Reasons" featured on the Earth Wind & Fire Gratitude album, and "After the Love Has Gone" from the album I Am. He performed with many prominent musicians including Grover Washington, Jr. and Carlos Santana. Myrick appeared on albums by artists including Bobby “Blue” Bland, The Dells, Regina Belle, the Mighty Clouds of Joy, and Heaven 17.
Earth, Wind & Fire's single "Runnin'" earned him the 1977/78 Grammy Award for Best R&B Instrumental.
Myrick attended Crane Junior College in Chicago, Illinois, where he was part of a band called The Jazzmen with Louis Satterfield, who later joined him with the Phenix Horns performing with Earth, Wind & Fire. Myrick and Satterfield played with The Pharaohs with musicians from Chess Records who included drummer Maurice White, who became Earth, Wind & FIre's founder.
Myrick was fatally shot in Los Angeles, California by a Santa Monica policeman during a narcotics investigation. While attempting to serve a search warrant, Police Officer Gary Barbaro mistook a butane lighter in Myrick's hand for a weapon. He fired a single bullet that hit Myrick in the chest. Myrick died in the hospital shortly afterwards, aged 53 years.
Following a funeral service at a Baptist church, his body was buried at Inglewood Park Cemetery in Los Angeles County.
Myrick was survived by his mother, Antoinette Myrick-Carr (now deceased), wife Barbara (now deceased), and three daughters; Shani, Lauren, Shirika Myrick, and a cousin, Elliot Myrick. In 1995, their wrongful death lawsuit against the city was settled for $400,000.
Decades after his death, he still lives in an unmarked grave (Lot 1034, Grave B, West end of plot) in the 'El Portal' section of the Inglewood Park Cemetery in the South Los Angeles community of Inglewood, California.
The song "For A Friend" by Phil Collins, released on CD Single "We Wait And We Wonder" in 1993 was a tribute to his friend, it actively participated in their songs and shows for many years.
With Jack McDuff
- The Heatin' System (Cadet, 1971)